Congratulations to Haneef Lemoth, whose mother, Nurse Felipa Apolonio, was the local nurse on Caye Caulker for many years.
Thanks and cheers,
Haneef Is Doing The Right Thing
Quite often we see young men on this news cast but, sadly, more times than not, it's because they're being carted away to jail, accused of a crime. Well, the Commissioner of Police is now trying to use his high office to shine the media's bright lights on some young people who are not in trouble. It's called the 'Do the Right Thing Program' where every month, the Police Department will recognize young men and women who are exemplary in conduct, deeds and potential. Today the first young man was recognized. He is Haneef Lemoth from Ladyville Technical High School and more than just exemplary, he has a compelling story.
Jules Vasquez Reporting,
When we first introduced you to Haneef Lemoth he was the victim of an injustice: charged with assaulting a police officer but he said it was the other way around:
[September 2005] "He grabbed me by my throat and slammed me into my friend's fence… they told me that I am crya crya and that I am a punk so they will charge me for assaulting a police officer."
It was an encounter that left him facing criminal charges and which taught him a sobering lesson
[September 2005] "I know how the police do it to anybody who is from the ghetto. They make me feel like I have to live at King's Park or somewhere like that for them to treat me like I'm a citizen. But since I am a youth from the southside it looks like they don't care."
But today the police proved they do care. No less than the Officer Ccommanding Eastern Division, third in charge of the Department Crispin Jeffries, acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Police declared Haneef the first winner of the Commissioner's 'Do the right thing Award.' Haneef received a letter from the Commissioner, a t-shirt and a certificate. For Haneef who beat the frivolous charge in court and has forgiven the police, it's one more indicator that he's living right.
"Previously the police assaulted me and now the police are actually giving me a crown so to me its very enjoyous."
Have you made a transformation in your own life?
"Yes sir a major transformation sir. I was attending ACC previously and I got expelled but you know once somebody gets expelled from an institution, it must be for poor conduct so really my whole level and conduct towards school has changed."
And now Haneef wants to hold his life up as an example to his peers:
"One of the major problems that youths are faced with is peer pressure so the only way for me to move away from that is to leave my past friends unless they have a way to contribute to me positively. You could say I have fallen two times in my life because two high schools have expelled me and now I am at Ladyville Technical High School and I am excelling so it doesn't matter how many times you have fall, as long as you rise."
For his principal Dianne Westby who nominated him for the award, it's a much needed encouragement:
Dianne Westby, Principal - LTHS
"Usually it's only the bad people that were recognized and that is why they have the 'do the right thing' program and specifically for high school students because this will definitely help. You will still have peer pressure of course eso people will still want to run with the bad boys because that's kind of like the 'in thing' where young people are concerned but I am sure that Haneef is a good example, a good role model, and therefore a lot of our students and young people on a whole would want to be like him."
And the principal says that as Haneef's star rises so does theirs.
"We have a new motto we operate by in terms of Ladyville Technical is a school of choice and we are working to make our school one of choice where people would want to come to us. So this is definitely a plus in that area."
At the end of the school year, the police will form a selection board to select one top student who will receive special honors and gifts including a special trip.
[This message has been edited by Auxillou Beach Suites (edited 03-14-2006).]